I’m sure that I’m not alone when I say that I get amped up by finding a cheap flight to a destination I’ve been dreaming about. The first goal when planning any trip is getting a ballpark for flights, and when they come in cheaper than I’m expecting (or I find ways to make them cheaper) then it gets me so much more motivated to get an itinerary planned and a trip purchased than if I was greeted with a price I thought was just unreasonable to pay.
The more trips I book, the more I realise there’s almost a pseudo-science to the booking process, with certain actions having a huge impact on whether the price will come back positive or negative, and the more that I’ve taken notice of these, the better I’ve gotten at finding trips that make me want to happy dance and explore the world.
Browse in Private Mode
One way to bypass this while searching for flights is by searching “incognito”. Use the private mode on your browser and it will essentially cut the collection of cookies, meaning that the airline sites won’t know how many times you’ve searched for these flights, and you shouldn’t see any inflation on price because of it. Searching privately has always been my go-to, since I was burned by prices constantly changing a few years ago!
Be Open to Fly From Multiple Airports and Various Days
At the beginning of any holiday planning, it’s important to be open to all options. Even if I have a particular airport I love flying from, I might find another one to be so much cheaper – so the more options that you leave yourself, the more chance you have of snagging a deal. Prices vary from day to day, flight to flight and airline to airline, so make sure that you’re not setting yourself up for failure and keep an open to mind for both where you can fly from, and which day you can leave/return.
Compare Search Engines to Airline Prices
If you guys caught my post about finding cheap accommodation, you’ll know that I’m a sucker for search engines. I love them. My favourite for flights is Skyscanner, because you can search by cheapest month and find an average for what prices typically are for wherever you’re planning to visit. Another great one is Kayak, Expedia and Booking.com. Search engines are a great place to start your planning because you can quite literally throw open a wide net and see what prices you bring back.
However, it’s important that you compare those prices you’re seeing to a direct search on each particular airline, as you can quite easily be surprised and find it a lot cheaper directly from the airline itself. I don’t know if it’s based on commission, but quite often I’ll take the information I’ve gathered from the search engines, apply it to the airline websites and find out that I can actually save anywhere from £50 upwards on those international flights I was just looking at.
Stay Alerted For Seasonal Sales
Guys, airline sales are one of my favourite things. In fact, through TUI’s end of Summer sale last year is how my friends and I nabbed a last minute holiday to Orlando for less than £600 each including flights, hotel and car. It’s definitely worth signing up to airline e-mail lists just for these alerts alone, as they can seriously save you some real money – especially if you’re not fussed about when you’re travelling, you just know that you want to go away somewhere.
Check The “Flying Soon” Pages For Each Airline
This last one is something that’s quite new to me. In fact, I didn’t even realise this was a thing until I was looking for a flight nowhere in particular – who else is craving a holiday to somewhere they can’t even place? – and stumbled across Thomas Cook’s ‘leaving soon’ section. Airlines like TC have a section of their website dedicated to flights leaving anywhere in the following 2 weeks for a heavily reduced rate. I definitely recommend you check it out, because there were so many fantastic deals on there that I was itching to book.
Booking flights can seem daunting and stressful, but they don’t need to be. In fact, they should be exciting. You’re booking a trip to somewhere you can relax – so you shouldn’t feel like the planning of that is stressing you out. From searching privately, to comparing prices and keeping your e-mail alerts on, there are loads of easy ways to snag a bargain flight – and I hope each of these tips have motivated you to get out there and book your bucket list trip!
What’s your secret to booking cheap travel?
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